An attorney for a former Queens resident who moved to the San Antonio area after his godfather was murdered claims that the primary evidence against his client was obtained by illegal means.
The accused moved to Texas shortly after the murder of the retired bus driver a decade ago. He was questioned recently in San Antonio by a Cold Case detective with the New York Police Department. The man had never admitted any culpability in the crime, neither to this detective nor the Texas police who had previously questioned him.
However, something different occurred this time. The accused man had held onto a water bottle while being questioned, and a video indicates that the cops told him he couldn't leave with the bottle.
When the 35-year-old man left the interview, police kept his water bottle and submitted it for DNA analysis. Allegedly, the DNA on the water bottle was a match for genetic material that was discovered on a jewelry box in the murder victim's home. The criminal defense attorney for the accused man claims that this is the only link between the crime and his client, and that his client's DNA had been improperly obtained.
This case illustrates why it is vital to retain counsel who will robustly defend your rights when accused. A criminal defense attorney who is unafraid to mount evidentiary challenges to overly zealous tactics widely used by the prosecution can make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal in some cases.
If you ever find yourself in such an untenable legal position, it is always good advice to invoke your right to remain silent and request to speak to a criminal defense attorney.
Source: New York Daily News, "Lawyer for man indicted in Queens cold-case murder says prosecutor's evidence may have been obtained illegally," Eli Rosenberg, July 21, 2015